07 Days Dechenphu Festival

Paro Airport

Thimphu

Bhutan Mask

Punakha

Haa Valley

Haa Valley

Haa Valley Trek

Haa Valley Trek

Haa Valley Trek

Paro

Taktsang Monastery

Date: 29 Oct – 4 Nov 2017

This tshechu is dedicated to Gay Ngyen Jakpa Melen, a powerful guardian deity of Bhutan. Some of the sacred dances performed during the festival include the Zhananga Cham, Genyen Kunchaam, Shazam Cham, and NgaCham. Many traditional and classical dances are also performed. It is held every once in a year.

“Haa Valley” was only recently opened to tourism and has remained beautifully quaint and untainted by the influences of modern development. Experience Bhutanese hospitality at the beautifully restored Lechuna Heritage Lodge, engage in a variety of hikes that range from easy to moderate, or bike around the valley or riverside in this quiet location. Our experienced guides lead guests through the Haa and Paro Valleys on day walks, incorporating Taktsang “Tiger’s Nest‟ Monastery, and a wild hike to Kila Nunnery, between the two valleys.

Day 01: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU
Day 02: THIMPHU (Dechenphu Festival)
Day 03: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA
Day 04:  PUNAKHA – THIMPHU – HAA
Day 05:  HAA – PARO
Day 06:  PARO (hike to Taktsang Monastery)
Day 07:  DEPART PARO

DECHENPHU FESTIVAL 2017
Date: 29 Oct – 04 Nov 2017

29 Oct DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our Bhutan representative will meet you at Paro airport exit doors following customs formalities.

After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) following the Pachu River. Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

30 Oct DAY 02: THIMPHU (DECHENPHU FESTIVAL)
After breakfast, drive to Dechenphu lhakhang early morning to witness the festival.

After lunch, a short drive to Kuenselphodrang, a popular vantage point, with the biggest Buddha statues in the world. This site offers a panoramic view of the capital below and also has several walking trails, which ranges from leisurely to moderate. Then visit the National Memorial Chorten, built in the memory of the Third King and for world peace. Continue on to the picturesque 12th century Changangkha Temple and Nunnery at Zilukha.

If time permits; visit the Folk Heritage Museum featuring an exhibition of items and artifacts of Bhutanese villages and rural households. After visiting the museum we will walk to School for Arts & Crafts, which is located close to the museum. This is one of the interesting schools where young boys & girls learn 13 different skills of arts & crafts in BhutanStroll around T-town in the evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

31 Oct DAY 03: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA
Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdoms. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.

Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’. It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned.

After lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing.

Overnight at your hotel in Punakha.

01 Nov DAY 04: PUNAKHA – THIMPHU – HAA
In the morning drive to Yabesa village and hike to through ricefields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions.

Drive back to Thimphu where you will visit The National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum. You will also have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores. If your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend, you can walk through the Thimphu Market to see the variety of food of Bhutan, including basket upon basket of fiery chillies, fresh cheese and a variety of fresh greens. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items.

Afterwards, we will depart for Haa, the westernmost valley in Bhutan. This is a beautiful drive that is relatively free of traffic. The road takes us back to Chuzom (river confluence) where we catch a glimpse of the three shrines in Nepali, Tibetan and Bhutanese style which were built to ward off evil spirits, and then traverses left past Dobje Dzong, an ancient prison which now houses a monastery. Picturesque and quaint villages dot the hillsides for the rest of our drive to Haa.

Overnight at Lechuna Heritage Lodge (if rooms are available) or at hotel in Haa.

02 Nov DAY 05: HAA VALLEY TREK – PARO
This unspoilt valley harks back to a simpler, more traditional time, and its wooded hills give us an ideal setting for hiking and mountain biking. There are several pleasant walking trails in Haa and biking on the virtually traffic free valley to visit local areas of interest and village homes is an enjoyable way to spend the day.

Start early for the drive to Chele La Pass (3,988m) from which on a clear day the view sweeps away to Bhutan‟s second highest peak, Mt Jhomolhari(7314m). Striding out along the Edelweiss covered ridge, we pass a sky burial site. We then descend for the two-hour hike through dense rhododendron forest, possibly sighting shaggy yaks, to Kila Goemba, an ancient nunnery nestled in a craggy patch on the mountainside below. Kila Goemba is a serene retreat for 32 Anims (Buddhist nuns) who lead an undisturbed life of religious studies, prayer and meditation. An hour‟s descent from the monastery and we are back at the road where we meet our vehicle for drive to Paro.

Difficulty: Moderate.
Picnic lunch
Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

03 Nov DAY 06:  PARO (TAKTSANG MONASTERY HIKE)

After breakfast we hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill takes us to Taktsang Monastery. Built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor, the monastery is a spectacular sight. It is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. Legend has it that the great Guru Rimpoche flew here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments. In the afternoon, we drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against marauding Tibetans in 1644. On the return drive to Paro, we can visit other remote monasteries in the valley.

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard.
Overnight at hotel in Paro.

04 Nov DAY 07: DEPART PARO

Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.

 

7 Days Bhutan Dechenphu Festival

Date: 29 OCT – 04 Nov 2017

LAND Price per person in SGD

Tour Code:BHU-DF07123-78-15Single
Economy3918380832783178268
Business4678457840483938268

Price is subjected to changes without prior notice

Price includes

  • Return Airfare + taxes by Druk Air (Singapore – Paro – Singapore) in Economy or Business Class as per choice
  • Bhutan Tourist Tariff Royalty & Visa fees
  • All private excursions and transfers in superior air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Local English speaking guide/tour leader.
  • Experienced driver.
  • Accommodation in carefully selected, highest standard goverment approved hotels & guesthouses.
  • All meals in Bhutan
  • All entrance fees and permits.
  • Briefing prior departure
  • 15% discount for gears at X-Boundaries

Price excludes

  • All other airfare & taxes not mentioned
  • Personal gears
  • All personal expenses such as bars, beverages, laundry, telephone and tips.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
  • Hotel Upgrade such as COMO Uma Hotel
  • Meals and drinks in the upgraded hotel such as COMO Uma Hotel

 

 

Notes
The itinerary is intended as a guide only. Local conditions and weather may necessitate variations to the program and can affect the availability of views and panoramas described. Be aware that all times stated are approximate, and may vary with individual and group fitness.

If you have any special dietary requests, please let us know in advance.

Throughout your stay you have the option to participate in a range of extra Outdoor Activities at an additional charge.

Travel Insurance
It is strongly recommended that you be insured against medical and personal accident risks (including repatriation costs, air ambulance and helicopter rescue services) and that you also take out cancellation insurance and Travel Agency Insolvency.

You should be aware that some policies restrict coverage or do not cover travel to Bhutan and may not cover activities such as trekking (and mountain bike). Please ensure that your policy provides a sufficient level of protection and covers you for the activities involved. You must carry proof of insurance (e.g. your insurance certificate) with you to Bhutan.

Travel to Bhutan
X-Trekkers handles the whole booking process on your behalf, including Druk Air / Bhutan Airlines flights. However, the price of flights may or may not be included in the package and it is therefore advisable to book well in advance to secure seats. We also handle visa application processing (included in the package). It normally takes 2 to 3 weeks to process the visa but under some circumstances, we can accelerate the process.
Hotel
CITYStandardUpgrade Option
ThimphuBhutan Suites / Hotel JumolhariHotel Druk Namgay Heritage
PunakhaMeri Puensum Hotel or option for homestayUma
ParoTenzinling Resort / Tashi Namgay ResortUma / Hotel Zhiwaling
Upgrades to 4 & 5 Star hotels can be booked for an additional nightly charge.
Flight Schedule
Singapore – Paro        Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays
KB501   SINGAPORE (SIN) – PARO (PBH)          0630   1050  (1 stopover)

Paro – Singapore        Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays
KB500    PARO (PBH) – SINGAPORE (SIN)        0720   1540  (1 stopover)

Terms & Conditions
For Bhutan trip booked and subsequent cancellation, the following applies.

• More than 30 days from date of travel ~ 25% of total price
• 15-29 days from date of travel             ~ 50% of total price
• 1-14 days                                             ~ 100% of total price

A SGD 200 administration fee will be payable for each traveller’s cancellation. Please note there will be additional cost for airticket amendments.